YOUNGWOOD, Pa. - Joel Lonigro scored 22 points to lead five players in double digits, but the Westmoreland County Community College men's basketball team's comeback attempt from a double-digit deficit came up short in a 97-85 setback to Butler County Community College Friday night in the WPCC Tournament Quarterfinals.
The first half was close throughout, with the Pioneers taking a 46-42 lead into intermission despite 13 points from Travis McCoy. Butler pushed their lead to double digits early in the second half with a 13-4 spurt coming out of the locker room to build a 59-46 advantage.
The Wolfpack made several runs the rest of the way, including a big push in the final five minutes. One surge was sparked by three-pointers from Jake Biros and Dan McQuaide to make it 79-73 with five minutes left. Biros scored again in transition after a steal by Lonigro and the margin was 83-79 in the Pioneers favor with 2:33 left. But Butler would hold Westmoreland at bay behind strong free throw shooting, making 9-of-12 at the stripe in the final two minutes.
Lonigro posted a strong line in the game with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Also reaching double figures was Cam McKinney with 18, McQuaide with 14, McCoy with 13 and Biros with 11.
Although the Wolfpack are eliminated from the WPCC Tournament, they will return to action next week in the Region XX Tournament. Westmoreland will begin the tournament Friday night in the opening round when they play Penn Highlands at 6 pm. The winner will advance to the semifinals against Prince George's at 4 pm Saturday. The men's and women's Region XX Tournament will be hosted by Westmoreland and run Friday through Sunday.